We often say that the cloud is for everyone, but not for everything. Between social networks, mobile apps and entertainment, we all use some type of cloud-based service. However, SaaS operators who are anxious to move off of legacy hardware and on to the cloud may find that due to regulatory or industry constraints, parts of their architecture must remain in a dedicated environment. For example, a finance-related service could run its website front end, file storage and test/dev in the cloud, but due to federal regulations, it could be unable to move sensitive customer databases or shopping cart functions to the public cloud. This is a hurdle that prevents many businesses from adopting any type of cloud asset.
Last week, we talked about why SaaS startups choose cloud, however the cloud isn’t just for SaaS startups. Mature SaaS businesses traditionally plan capacity based on historical performance. If an application saw a spike during a certain period last year, you’ll plan to handle that same spike next year. Retailers, for example, use this model to secure the additional capacity needed to manage big holiday buying days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Taking on the capacity to serve millions for a few days of the year while only seeing a few hundred hits a day the rest of the year means creating a resource gap between what’s used and what’s sitting idle.
Though we work with many large enterprises, as a former startup ourselves, we are passionate about helping new businesses access the infrastructure needed to build out their dreams. More so than other business models, a SaaS application provider's infrastructure is akin to the storefront of a brick and mortar business. If the windows are dirty and customers can't get in the front door, your store won't thrive. Similarly, if an app is plagued with slow response and frequent downtime due to inefficient infrastructure planning, your app is likely to wind up dead the water.
Last week we talked about cloud services to help enhance your SaaS application infrastructure. Today we’ll talk about how to use the cloud to expand your current infrastructure into the future. The cloud gives you the same options for scaling that you’d find in a traditional SaaS environment with advantages that you can’t get out of traditional architecture.